Album review: RIVERS OF NIHIL – Monarchy


Metal Blade [Release date 21.08.15]

When a band records a first album that is so amazing, you wonder if that band will be able to follow it up and come even close to its greatness. Look at a band like GNR: Appetite For Destruction remains one of the greatest hard rock albums ever recorded, yet they never were able to achieve that same level of awesome.

Sure, UYI could’ve possibly done it had it been one amazing album, but instead it ended up being two bloated, over-done albums. Or maybe it’s just me. I saw Rivers of Nihil last year touring with Death To All and was very impressed with them. I checked out their album 2012’s The Conscious Seed of Light and couldn’t believe this was their first album. It was such a powerful debut, that when the thought occurred to me they had to do another one, I became skeptical.

With the coming of Monarchy, it was time to see if Rivers of Nihil had the goods or shot their load on the first one. I am pleased to announce that they are no one album wonder. This one is full of the same brutality and aggression as the previous, but the songs have gotten even better.

The brilliant and crushing guitar riffs, the stunning leads, the anger behind the voice, and the thundering rhythm section come together and take Death metal to the next level. Guitarists Brody Uttley and Jon Topore have created this sonic wall of immense and dense riffs that assaults the listener repeatedly.

Bassist Adam Biggs is no slouch on his instrument either, doing stunningly complex bass runs that meld with the machine like work of drummer Alan Balamut. The album itself is a conceptual idea, yet the songs stand on their own terms so well, tracks like “Monarchy,” “Reign of Dreams,” “Sand Baptism,” and “Terrestria II: Thrive” the band has created these amazingly complex songs while delivering a sledge hammer of metal power.

Yet again Rivers of Nihil have set themselves up for failure by creating another masterpiece of Death metal goodness. Monarchy picks up where The Conscious Seed of Light left off, which leaves me wondering, “What in the hell will they do next?” If they stay on the same trajectory they are right now they are destined to be regarded in the highest in the metal world already adding two amazing albums into our lives.  *****

Review by Chris Martin

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